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Ukraine and Spain are Russia's main Synchro rivals

Synchronised Swimming
Synchronised Swimming at Baku 2015 will take place at the new Baku Aquatics Centre. Robert Prezioso/Getty Images
Preview of the Baku 2015 Synchronised Swimming competition

Synchronised Swimming will be the first sport to get underway at the inaugural European Games, even before the Opening Ceremony. Some of the continent's brightest young stars will be competing, with Russia tipped to be the team to beat.

Double world junior champion Anisiya Neborako of Moscow, who competes in the figures, solo, team and free combination, will be one to watch, as the 18-year-old aims to win the triple gold that she was denied at the 2014 World Junior Championships in Helsinki, where she claimed silver in the free combination with her team-mates.

Her main challenger is likely to be Ukraine's Yelyzaveta Yakhno, who is competing in all of the synchro events, including duets.

Other contenders for the solo crown include Anna-Maria Alexandri of Austria, Spain's Berta Ferreras Sanz, France's Inesse Guermoud and Italian Noemi Carrozza.

The Synchronised Swimming schedule begins 12 hours before the Opening Ceremony on Friday 12 June, meaning Belarus pair Hanna Shulhina and Dominika Tsyplakova will have the honour of being the first competitors of the inaugural European Games.

They compete in the duets free routine preliminary, where all eyes will be on Russian pair Valeriya Filenkova and Daria Kulagina, who were part of the gold medal-winning team at the 2014 World Junior Championships.

Their closest rivals are expected to be Ukrainian pair Yana Nariezhna and Yakhno, and Spain's Julia Echeberria Esquivel and Irene Toledano Carmelo.  

Ukraine have risen up the ranks sharply at both junior and senior level, threatening Spain's mantle as Russia's main challenger in European competition.

Ukraine and Spain will be aiming to topple Russia in the team event, with Italy also hoping to get a look-in for a podium spot.

 

 


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